Jermyn becomes Ireland’s leading scorer with six-goal haul

John Jermyn wrote himself into the history books in style as Ireland cruised through the opening round of the new FIH World League in Cardiff over the weekend.

The Cork man, who has moved from hometown side Church of Ireland to Belgian outfit Royal Pingoin for the coming season, became Ireland’s top goalscorer of all time, overhauling the record of 79 set by former international team-mate Stephen Butler. The drag-flicking specialist’s opener in Friday night’s 5-0 dismissal of hosts Wales pulled him level with Butler, but he followed that up with a hat-trick against Austria on Saturday that backboned a 5-1 victory to make the record his own in style.

The 30-year-old hit two more in yesterday’s 8-0 rout of Sweden to bring his total for the weekend to six and give him a tally of 84 in just 144 appearances in the green shirt.

Having been used sporadically off the bench by Paul Revington in March’s Olympic qualifiers, Jermyn was always likely to get more gametime here under interim coach Brendon Carolan, who was without regular midfielders Ian Sloan and David Ames. That saw Jermyn spearhead a marvellous set-piece effort that also yielded a goal in each game for fellow Munster man Conor Harte, while Jonny Bruton, Andy McConnell and Mikey Watt were also among the goals and John Jackson earned his 100th cap.

Topping the group means Ireland move a step closer to 2014 World Cup qualification, progressing through to the second round of the competition which will see them off to either Rio de Janerio or New Delhi from February 18-24 next year. Meanwhile, Ireland overcame their Scottish hoodoo with a 1-0 victory on Friday night at Auchenhowie but proceeded to lose the remaining two games of the series against the hosts to give interim coach Denis Pritchard plenty of food for thought ahead of the Champions Challenge I later this month.

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